Every four years the world is given the gift of the Olympics. For a few weeks nations lay down their arms and come together to let their world class athletes compete on a level playing field to see who the best is in the many events. It boggles the mind what these young men and women can accomplish with their bodies—great feats of skill and determination bring them to the pinnacle of athletic achievement. Incredible.
As I think about what it takes to become a world class athlete capable of competing at the Olympic level, I realize that there are some foundational lessons for all of us to learn as it relates to becoming world class in whatever we set our hands to.
The secret of how these athletes became world class is found in the combination of two fundamental ideas: desire and dedication.
We all know people who dream of big things but never accomplish those dreams, don’t we? Why is that? After all, they have desire. They want it. But the engine that drives the dream is dedication. Desire tells you what you want, while dedication is what will get it for you.
There are three parts to desire: 1. Dreaming, 2.The Vision and 3. Focus.
First, is dreaming. Have you let yourself dream lately? Just sit down and begin to imagine all of the incredible possibilities your life could become? Spend some time just dreaming.
Next is the vision. Once you dream, you begin to cut back on all of the possibilities and narrow it to what possibility it is that you really want. You begin to create a vision for your life. You begin to see it as you want it.
Lastly under desire is focus. Once you have the vision, you have to really focus in on that dream. This is where you get really specific about what your life is going to look like.
There are also three parts for dedication: 1. The Plan, 2. Beginning and 3. Perseverance.
First is the plan. Without a plan you will drift to and fro. You will certainly not carry out your dream if you do not have a plan. So write it down. Set your goals. Know what you want and how you are going to get there.
Second is the beginning. This may sound simple and yet it is simply profound. Many people have a dream and they even have a plan, but they never begin. So simple: just start. The first step on the long journey is still just one step. If you have a dream and a plan, take a step in the right direction.
Lastly is to persevere. Every road to every dream has a section that is hard to travel. Every great dream will encounter difficulty. The question isn’t whether or not you will encounter trouble but how you will respond to trouble. Will you quit when the going gets tough or will you persevere? I have found that every successful person I know, myself included, has encountered problems along the way that tempted them to quit. Yet they persevered and achieved their dream.
Let’s take a look at the progression. As you do, think about where you are in the progression of becoming a world class dream pursuer.
- Create a vision
- Focus the vision
- Develop a plan
- Begin to pursue the dream
Friends, I hope for you the fulfillment of every dream that you have. That is what life is about isn’t it? But to do so, I know that you will have to combine your desire with good old dedication. And when you combine those two, you will be well on your way to leading a world class life!
Jim Rohn was a leading author, speaker and business lecturer. He is the author of 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness: Power Ideas from America’s Foremost Business Philosopher, among other fantastic books and audio programs.